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NOTE: A surveillance case definition is a set of uniform criteria used to define a disease for public health surveillance. Surveillance case definitions enable public health officials to classify and count cases consistently across reporting jurisdictions. Surveillance case definitions are not intended to be used by healthcare providers for making a clinical diagnosis or determining how to meet an individual patient’s health needs.

CSTE Position Statement(s)

  • 11-ID-12

Clinical Description

An infection of variable severity characterized by watery diarrhea, primary septicemia, or wound infection. Asymptomatic infections may occur, and the organism may cause extra-intestinal infection.

Laboratory Criteria For Diagnosis

Isolation of a species of the family Vibrionaceae (other than toxigenic Vibrio cholerae O1 or O139, which are reportable as cholera) from a clinical specimen.

Case Classification


A clinically compatible case that is epidemiologically linked to a confirmed case.


A case that meets the laboratory criteria for diagnosis. Note that species identification and, if applicable, serotype designation (i.e., Vibrio cholerae non-O1, non-O139 or Grimontia hollisae) should be reported.


Genera in the family Vibrionaceae (not all have been recognized to cause human illness) currently include:

  • Aliivibrio
  • Allomonas
  • Catenococcus
  • Enterovibrio
  • Grimontia
  • Listonella
  • Photobacterium
  • Salinivibrio
  • Vibrio

In addition to reporting through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), CDC requests that states collect and report the information on the standard form for Cholera and Other Vibrio Illness Surveillance (COVIS), available at: CDC intends to integrate the COVIS form into the National Electronic Diseases Surveillance System (NEDSS) in the future. Reporting sites should use the COVIS reporting form until the integration is successfully implemented.

CDC requests that all Vibrio isolates be forwarded to the Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch (EDLB) for characterization. EDLB (specifically the Epidemic Investigations Laboratory) requests that state public health labs immediately forward all suspect V. cholerae isolates for serogrouping and cholera toxin testing as well as biotype and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.

Related Case Definition(s)